20 02, 2015

Featured in The Knot!

By |2015-02-20T10:51:28-07:00February 20th, 2015|Featured|

7 Dreamy Wedding Dress Details For A Woodland Wedding By Jose Villa

These dresses (from our regional edition of The Knot Magazine 2014 Fall/Winter issue) prove that one way to pull off a beautiful, elegant wedding day look is to find a wedding dress with unexpected details. We’re talking fabric with unique textures, decadently embellished accessories like capes or hair pieces, and even colorful wedding dresses in shades of subtle blue and wow-worthy pink. To complete the romantic woodland wedding style, we mixed in overgrown flower arrangements like unstructured bouquets and flower crowns (by Flowerwild) and kept the models pretty with natural makeup and unfussy hairstyles (a la Mar Romero). To top it all off, the uber-talented Jose Villa captured every moment. Shop the shoot and see all the prettiness below!

Something Blue By Ines Di Santo

Blue Ines DiSanto wedding dress | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Blue Ines DiSanto wedding dress | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Dress, $6,160, Ines Di Santo; engagement ring, $4,180 (not including center stone), Danhov; bracelet, $470, Ben-Amun, Thomas Laine

Intricate Beaded Cape By Badgley Mischka

Badgley Mischka wedding dress with cape and Lulu Frost earrings | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Badgley Mischka wedding dress with cape and Lulu Frost earrings | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Dress (with cape), $4,765, Badgley Mischka; engagement ring, $9,990 (not including center stone), Tacori; earrings, $195, Lulu Frost

An Ethereal Veil By Twigs And Honey

Kenneth Pool wedding gown with Twigs and Honey veil | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Overgrown wildflower bouquet | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Gown, $9,500, Kenneth Pool; veil, $165, Twigs and Honey; bouquet by Flowerwild

Custom Pink Wedding Dress By Vera Wang 

Vera Wang pink wedding gown with Erickson Beamon earrings | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Blush pink woodland bouquet by Flowerwild | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Vera Wang pink wedding gown | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Custom gown, price upon request, Vera Wang; earrings, $342, Erickson Beamon, Thomas Laine

Puckered Fabric Wedding Dress By Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier wedding gown and Lanvin suit | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Rose and fern boutonnieres by Flowerwild | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com

Shop the Look: Dress, $5,900, Monique Lhuillier; On Him: Suit, $2,295, Lanvin, MR PORTER; shirt, $80, Banana Republic; tie, $15, The Tie Bar; flowers by Flowerwild

Layered Texture by Kelly Faetanini

Kelly Faetanini wedding gown with flower crown by Flowerwild | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.com Kelly Faetanini wedding gown with Twigs and Honey cape | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Dress, $4,075, Kelly Faetanini; cape, $540, Twigs and Honey; engagement ring, $5,880 (not including center stone), Danhov

Dramatic Train by Maggie Sottero

Maggie Sottero wedding gown and Lanvin grooms suit | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comShop the Look: Dress, $1,399, Maggie Sottero; earrings, $195, Lulu Frost

Low bridal updo with crystal hair accessory | Jose Villa | blog.theknot.comCredits: Photography: Jose Villa | Flowers: Flowerwild | Fashion styling: Annie Nicholas for Ennis Inc. | Hair and makeup: Mar R. for Team Hair & Makeup


28 05, 2014

Jose Villa Italy Workshop Featured on Style Me Pretty

By |2014-05-28T10:15:27-06:00May 28th, 2014|Featured, Photo shoot|

This, my sweets, is a Jose Villa workshop, Italian style. And it comes bubbling over with talented craftsmen like Kate Holt Of FlowerwildLaurie Arons Special Events and a team of artists who transformed Villa Cetinale into pure wedding magic with a good dose of old world elegance. Have a look here for even more inspiration and if you missed it, the engagement session that started things off.

To View Full Post click HERE!

A note from Laurie AronsThe 17th century regality of Villa Cetinale inspired our “wedding” design for the Jose Villa workshop. Built by the Medici family for Pope Alexander VII, the Villa’s Roman Baroque architecture and religious artifacts set the scene for our faux formal wedding in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. I felt a carefully selected shade of deep plum befitted an occasion at the elegant villa. Used as a accent color against a palette of ivory, cream and rich beautiful gold, it struck just the right note of royalty and romance.

I worked with A Day In May Design to develop the invitation suite, thank you notes, menus and day-of details. Together we enlisted Tara Jones Calligraphy, as her beautiful free hand style of calligraphy reminded us of Old World Italian documents. While most of the printed pieces were created on natural, antique feeling papers, we decided to print our menu/placecards on deep plum card stock with guest names calligraphed in gold. They photographed beautifully on the dining table against the plum taper candles.

Another favorite detail were the welcome trays we created for each student in the workshop. Kate Holt from Flowerwild hand-painted Florentine trays I sourced in Florence, which we topped with personal calligraphed stationery by A Day in May and Tara Jones. We then found gifts from the region including pears from the local market, Italian fine chocolate and candles from Santa Maria Novella, the oldest ‘farmacia’ in the world.

A note from the Kate of Flowerwild“Dove il cielo si incontrano la terra” – where the heavens meet the earth. This quote wrapped around the leather passport covers which were a pre-welcome gift for attendees – a hint at the marvelous and things soon to unfold on their travels to the Jose Villa Workshop. Not to be sappy – but this is my second workshop with Jose and it is so eye-opening for me to observe him teaching, and see all the talents around him come together to create something unique. I learn SO much with each experience. I know I have him to thank for many great strides by business has taken since I was lucky enough to observe him teaching in Mexico a few season ago. No denying… that was life changing for me. I’m certain all his attendees feel the same.

For this workshop I was simply drawing from the space, the unbelievable villa, the tones within the landscape, and the natural environment and architecture to create a look for Jose and his students to photograph. Going there sight unseen -except for what I could gather from online imagery- sort of opens up the experience to half good-planning and forethought, and the other half- a strange mix of luck and an ability to focus and seek out the best of what the environment provides. I find that if I lock myself too deeply into one direction or look – I am inevitably sidetracked or slowed down by certain items not being available, or sought after materials being impossibly elusive.

To begin designing, I started with the little Italian phrase, and then researched traditional Italian weddings to see where it would lead me, to see what I could learn about another culture’s approach to the vows between two people in love. I looked at poems, timeless traditions, wardrobe history, baroque architecture (the style of the villa) and did my best to gently weave these ideas into the bones of the look.

Deep olive and plum tones, veils to the ground, easter lilies, an abundance of altar of candles, dramatic gowns, and gold embroidery are a few notes that I began to build the look from. Laurie and her team dreamed up these very deep toned-plum, standing place cards with gold calligraphy. For me, these set the tone for everything moving forward from there. I basically just looked to balance the high drama and luxuriousness of the villa against the real, rawness of the countryside there. Some items were painstakingly resourced by Laurie, Katie, Summer, and my husband and I – and others were serendipitously discovered along the roadside. With some very generous guidance from a friend on the ground in Italy – Tomasso – and some amazing luck we were able to make it all happen!

To me the workshop is such a collaboration – as all weddings are. We all lend what we can and are lucky enough to have Jose and his students capture it. I hope we can continue to do it “per cent anni!” for a hundred years!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Gown: Reem Acra From Gabriella Bridal | Gown: Samuelle | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Calligraphy: Tara Jones Calligraphy | Beaded Charger: The Ark Event Rentals | Car: Zephyrus Sienna | Creative Direction And Design: Kate Holt Of Flowerwild | Design And Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Florentine Charger: Casa De Perrin | Graphic Design And Printing: A Day In May Design | Guest Speaker: Summer Watkins | Guest Speaker: Joel Serrato | Guest Speaker: Laurie Arons Special Events | Guest Speaker: Shira Savada Of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine | Leather Work And Brass Tags: Amber Moon Of Pitbulls And Posies | Models: I Love Management And Casting Italy | Special Assistant And Decor: Tomasso Of La Rosa | Veil: Preston Olivia | Venue: Villa Cetinale | Villa: Villa Cetinale | Wardrobe Stylist: Summer Watkins

Preston & Olivia is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jose Villa Photography, A DAY IN MAY DESIGN, TEAM Hair and Makeup, Joel Serrato Films and Casa de Perrin are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.

6 02, 2014

Sonoma Wedding Featured in Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine!

By |2014-02-06T12:24:14-07:00February 6th, 2014|Featured|

January 30, 2014

A stunning Sonoma wedding film (check out minute 1:20 when the groom sees the bride)


Can’t get enough of Marilyn and Spencer’s wedding in our new Winter 2014 issue? It was a beauty so we can’t blame you! With photos by Jose Villa, planning details by Rosemary Events, and flowers by Flowerwild—among many other talented creative forces working to make this big day one to remember, it all came together beautifully. Check out their full story in the magazine, on the iPad, or in our gallery of images. And check it out in motion below, crafted by Joel Serrato Films.

A Vintage Vineyard Wedding in California

17 07, 2013

Ojai Valley Inn Indian Wedding by Lacie Hansen Photography Featured!

By |2013-07-17T12:29:20-06:00July 17th, 2013|Featured|

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Bollywood lässt grüßen und das auf besonders schöne Art und Weise! Heute freue ich mich, euch eine indische Hochzeit mit wunderschönen Saris (übrigens das tradionelle indische Hochzeitsgewand), Mehndi Verzierungen und ganz vielen kräftigen Farben zu zeigen. Ich wollte schon immer mal eine indische Hochzeit auf dem Blog veröffentlichen, aber bislang war keine dabei, die mir ein Wow entlockt hat. Bei dieser Hochzeit, aufgenommen von Lacie Hansen ist das anders. Ich mag die satten Rottöne, die wunderschönen Mehndi Bemalungen und den ansonsten eher “schlichten” Stil dieser Hochzeit. Das liegt vielleicht aber auch daran, dass diese Hochzeit in Kalifornien stattfand… Im Vergleich zu anderen indischen Hochzeiten ist diese hier nicht so überladen. Es gibt drei kräftige Hauptfarben, die mit elegantem Weiß kombiniert werden. Der Hingucker ist aber mit Abstand der atemberaubende Goldschmuck und das zweite Brautkleid mit DIY-Ombre Effekten. Ein absoluter Traum in Weiß und Pink, den man nicht alle Tage sieht. Aber auch die Deko ist vielleicht für den ein oder anderen sehr inspirierend… Wusstet ihr, dass die aufwändigen Mehndi Tattoos bereits mehrere Tage vor der Hochzeit gemeinsam mit den Freundinnen aufgetragen wird? Alle Frauen tragen diese Verzierung, wobei die Braut natürlich die aufwändigste bekommt. Solltet ihr jetzt auf der Suche nach orientalischer Deko sein, dann empfehle ich euch unser Selection Mitglied Happyconfetti.

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Ojai Valley Inn and SpaPhotography: Lacie Hansen | Location: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Creative Direction + Floral Design: Kate Holt of Flowerwild | Wedding Planner: La Fleur Weddings & Events | Cinematography: Love Spun Films| Invitation Suite + Wedding Day Paper + Production: Amber Moon of Pitbulls and Posies | Wedding Day Calligraphy + Poem Artwork: Chelsea Petaja of Oh My Deer | Invitation and Envelope Calligraphy: Kelle McCarter of DesignsGirl | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Wedding Decor+ Rentals: Elan Event Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | DJ: Michael Antonia of The Flash Dance | Wedding Dress: Junko Yoshioka | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Hair + Makeup: Mar of TEAM Hair and Makeup | Lingerie: Claire Pettibone | Men’s Suit: Bar III | Men’s Shirt: Calvin Klein | Men’s Shoes: Bruno Magli

29 01, 2013

Biltmore Wedding Featured on Style Me Pretty!

By |2013-01-29T13:41:36-07:00January 29th, 2013|Featured|

Santa Barbara Wedding from Lacie Hansen Photography

Santa Barbara is sort of my happy place. Though I’ve never been there. But sitting in my chilly, snowed-in Boston office, Santa Barbara just seems like warmth and happiness and everything beautiful in the world. And I’m pretty sure that if the universe is listening, it will pick up my house and move it right plop in the center of this little slice of heaven. Hmm, you’re probably right. Next best thing? Living vicariously through a Santa Barbara wedding as pretty as this one and the inspiring photography of our sweet friend Lacie Hansen. Then soaking up the incredible, is-this-real-life? film by one of our besties and cinema genius, Joel Serrato and of course, hitting up the galleries for far more lovely.

From the Bride… Brandon and I met the night of my 28th birthday through a mutual friend at a bar in West Hollywood. Just as we walked in, he happened to be standing right there, and worked with one of my best friends. There, we were introduced, however, I was out with a gaggle of girlfriends and meeting a guy was the last thing on my mind! He did manage to get my number and asked me to dinner for the following week. The hostess on our first date told us that “we were a very cute couple.” We never looked back.

Our wedding was just over a year later on June 9, 2012 at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California. Having grown up just north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, that hotel has always been one of my favorite spots and was special to us as it was the location of our first weekend getaway together. We knew we wanted the wedding to feel very romanitic and warm with a touch of easy elegance. We also played off of the classic Spanish architecture of the hotel. The ceremony was interfaith with a Rabbi and Minister who worked perfectly together. We loved taking traditions from both Jewish and Episcopalian religions. The ceremony was held on the beautiful Monte Vista Lawn surrounded by palm trees and gorgeous views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The bridesmaids wore coral, blush or champange dresses and chose their own style by the same designer. I definitely wanted them to do what they wanted and wear what they loved! During cocktail hour in the Palmera Garden, guests sipped on some of our favorite snacks and refreshments including fresh blood orange margaritas, vodka gimlets dusted with mini gold stars, and little patron bottles filled with homemade margaritas, and accompanied by bit sized tacos.

We then moved into the Loggia Ballroom decorated with an abundance of peonies, cabbage roses, hydrageas, viburnum and dahlias, hundreds of twinkling candles, and a soft glowing fire in the fireplace. The tables were of various shapes and sizes and shared hues of blush and champagne, with pops of coral and hints of gold. The 12 piece band was incredible, specializing in Motown, but playing everything from Foster the People to Van Morrison to Madonna. After the dinner and dancing, Brandon and I exited under a trail of sparklers, and led the way across the street to the Mardis Gras themed after-party at the ocean-front Coral Casino. There, our guests donned boas, beads and masks, and dined on sliders, mini shakes and fries while dancing away to a DJ spinning tunes into the wee hours. Some guests even woke up in the sand to the sunrise! The day and night could not have been more perfect. By far, the most special moments were being around all of our best friends and family, spending the day getting ready with my bridesmaids and mother, walking down the aisle on the arm of my father, and most of all, marrying the most wonderful man and the love of my life.

Swirl1Wedding Photography: Lacie Hansen Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering + Cakes: Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California (Ceremony : Monte Vista Lawn + Reception: Loggia Ballroom) / After Party: Santa Barbara Four Seasons Coral Casino / Wedding Planning: Liz Brown of Central Coast Memory Makers / Event + Floral Design: Kate Holt of Flowerwild / Wedding Cinematography: Joel Serrato Films / Ceremony Officiants: Rabbi Arthur Rosenberg and Reverend Gary Dickey / Wedding Stationery: Crane & Co.Letter Perfect / Ceremony, Cocktail + Reception Band: Side Effect (West Coast Music) / After Party DJ: Everett Wong / Party Favors: Mother of the Bride’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves / Wedding Dress:”Emma” Dress by Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Veil: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale (Champagne, Coral + Blush – various silhouettes) / Hair: Michelle Mason / Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup / Groomsmen Suits: “Ludlow” by J.Crew / Linens: La Tavola Linen

Joel Serrato Films, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and TEAM Hair and Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Amsale, J.Crew and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.


23 01, 2013

Sunstone Winery Real Wedding

By |2013-01-23T14:20:21-07:00January 23rd, 2013|Real Wedding|

Jan 23

Jeff & Audrey {Santa Ynez, CA}

This was such a fun wedding – a truly kind couple – and really talented vendors made it just the most wonderful day.  A big thanks to Jill LaFleur for introducing me to Jeff & Audrey Dunham – we loved working with you guys!  Lots of pretty flowers from Kate and I loved all the table lovelies from Case de Perrin.  Ceci outdid herself with the custom painted invite.  I could photograph this sort of effortless look all day long.  Thatch shot this wedding with me and, well, I love having him around too 🙂

Jeff Dunham Wedding

Jeff Dunham Wedding

22 10, 2012

Haiku Mill Maui Photoshoot Featured on Style Me Pretty!

By |2012-10-22T09:18:34-06:00October 22nd, 2012|Featured|

Jose Villa + Jill La Fleur Workshop Photos from Wendy Laurel

October 19th. 2012 by Dawn | Filed Under | 20 comments

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When Jose Villa and Jill La Fleur hold a workshop, beautiful things happen.  Amazingly beautiful things. Like gorgeous displays of floral perfection from Flowerwild, a cake (almost) too pretty to eat from Maggie Austin Cake and these mesmerizing images from the oh-so-fabulous Wendy Laurel, who never EVER fails to steal our hearts with each and every photo she takes.  All set against a breathtaking Haiku Mill backdrop and featuring one stop-you-in-your-tracks moment after another, this, my friends, is a day chock-full of inspiration and a whole lot of pretty.  See so much more right here.

Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel
Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Photography By / Wendy Laurel

Click here for even more!

From Wendy Laurel… Jose Villa and Jill La Fleur led a workshop for photographers on Maui at Haiku Mill. It was beautiful event with tons of details. I was an attendee and these are my photographs of the workshop. Mahalo!

Photography: Wendy Laurel / Venue: Haiku Mill in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii / Coordination: La Fleur Weddings and Events / Workshop Leader: Jose Villa / Floral Design: Flowerwild / Cinematography: Joel Serrato Films / Catering: Maui Executive Catering / Wedding Cake: Maggie Austin Cake / Desserts: Dolce Bakery Boutique / Stationery: Ceci New York + Pitbulls and Posies / Musical Entertainment: The Throwdowns / Art: Karina Puente / Rentals: Island Rents / Linen Rentals: La Tavola / Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore / Accessories: Jannie Baltzer / Jewelry: Karen Lindner Designs / Beauty: TEAM Hair and Makeup / Other Contributors: Robyn + Hali’i Iaea of Pacific Weddings, Angela Marcaccio of Richard Photo Lab, Casa de Perrin, Marty DreadGarnish EventsManutea Nui E

Harrison Hurwitz Photography, Jen Fariello Photography, Corbin Gurkin Photography, Audrey Snow Photography, KM Photography, Ceci New York, Flowerwild, Joel Serrato Films, La Fleur Weddings & Events, La Fleur Weddings & Events, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and TEAM Hair and Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

7 11, 2011

Fall Inspiration Shoot Featured on: Green Wedding Shoes!

By |2011-11-07T14:30:22-07:00November 7th, 2011|Featured, Photo shoot|

This afternoon we are off to the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse – in reality as Jason and I are driving there to speak at workshop – AND in this gorgeous fall inspiration shoot captured by the one and only Jose Villa and designed by the talented Jill La Fleur. The inspiration for this shoot started with big rolls of fluffy ivory yarn. With the feeling of fall in the air, Jill wanted to create an environment where you would want to sit down, relax, snuggle up, and enjoy the beautiful outdoor views of the farmhouse. Filled with soft fabrics, tons of yarn, and fall colors of soft greys, creams, and lavenders, Jill collaborated with Found Vintage Rentals and Kate of Flowerwild to build some unique spaces. The beautiful dresses and soft wraps are from BHDLN (and some of my personal faves!) and the custom-made headpieces by Mignonne Handmade.


green and white bouquet


BHLDN wedding dress

bride with flower hair piece

bride in one shoulder wedding dress

mountain wedding

For the ceremony, Jill tied bunches of yarn that streamed from the white washed benches where guests would sit, and asymmetrically placed some large spool tables on either side of the “altar” area.

rustic spools

groom kissing bride

bride in flower hair piece

yarn basket

sewing inspired table

needlework circle

bride in BHLDN dress

white and green bouquet

spool yarn basket

black and white chairs

rustic yarn table decor

silverware molds, blue tablescape

white and green centerpiece

bride in blue knitted shawl

bride in blue knitted shawl

blue vintage paper goods

The beautiful invitation suite by Ceci New York brought knitting and yarn elements into the pattern that appeared on the envelope, table number, and address label. And keeping with the fall feel, they printed the actual invite and RSVP card on a light wood.

white and green bouquet

big rustic spools

yarn decor

Thanks so much to all these talented vendors for sharing some lovely fall wedding ideas with us today! I’m definitely ready to snuggle up with my sweetie outdoors this fall. 🙂 And if you love this venue (who wouldn’t!) check out this real wedding we shared a few weeks ago that took place there.

photography: Jose Villa // design + planning: Jill La Fleur // venue: Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse // rentals: Vintage Found Rentals // floral design: Kate of Flowerwild // dress: BHLDN // hairpieces: Mignonne Handmade // invitations: Ceci New York // hair + makeup: Mar R. of TEAM Hair and Makeup // cake: Maggie Austin Cakes // napkins: La Tavola Linens // calligraphy: Chelsea Petaj

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